Dr. Rashid Sumaila, Professor with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, has won the 2017 Volvo Environment Prize for his work in fisheries economics and  sustainable governance of ocean resources. The Volvo Environment Prize is awarded annually to people who have made outstanding scientific discoveries within the area of sustainability.

Dr. Sumaila is an economist who has challenged traditional ways of marine governance and has introduced new ways of thinking, such as advocating for the protection of the high seas as a “fish bank” for the world.

Professor Sumaila’s work involves all facets of ocean health, such as overfishing, oil spills, pollution, acidification and climate change. His research has helped to prove that the ocean’s supply of fish has been severely depleted. This led to the creation of the first high seas marine protected area, the Ross Sea in Antarctica, which will come into force by December 1, 2017. His idea was initially dismissed as  unrealistic. By outlawing fishing outside the coastal waters that are under direct control of nations, “fish have a place to hide and grow bigger,” Professor Sumaila says.

His innovative work in ocean health and economics has led to him giving talks at the United Nations, the White House, the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament, the African Union, the British House of Lords, and the Canadian Parliament.

“We need the oceans more than the oceans need us.” – Professor Rashid Sumaila

Learn more about his work in this Volvo Environment Prize trailer.

Watch Professor Sumaila’s award lecture here:

Find out more on the Institute for Oceans and Fisheries’ website, or the Environment Prize’s press release.

Find an article on his prize in The Vancouver Sun.

Dr. Sumaila’s award has also been recognized by Ocean Canada, here.